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Following Sun Shichang’s Orchid and Bamboo

Nukina KaiokuCirca 1849

Sakai City Museum
Sakai-shi, Osaka, Japan

Orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum have been praised for its noble beauty since ancient times, being awarded the epithet the Four Nobles and favored in poems and arts. Orchid symbolize spring and bamboo summer.
This work is an ectype of a picture by Sun Shichang, a painter in Ching dynasty, painted in 1705; orchids and bamboos are depicted differently on four sheets of paper, put together into a single handscroll. Kaioku put the seal of one of his names, after the copied Sun Shichang’s sign and seal at the end of the scroll. On the seams of the paper are seals of other names, one of which indicates that it might be created when he started to use the name Suoh at the age of 72.

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